AUSTRALIA: Police Warn Woman Over Comments About Trans Activist As eSafety Commissioner Continues Censorship Rampage

An Australian woman was reported to police after making posts on social media about a male who identifies as transgender participating in the women’s football league. Kirralie Smith was visited by New South Wales Police after speaking to media about Riley Dennis, a trans activist who had been the subject of mass complaint last month after reportedly injuring female players.

Police visited Smith on March 30 and handed her an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) requiring that she does not discuss or approach Dennis – despite the fact that Smith lives over 200 miles from Dennis. The AVO acts as an interim order that will stand until a hearing later this month, at which point the court will decide whether it is justified.

Smith, a spokeswoman with an organization established to combat gender ideology, has been a vocal critic regarding gender self-identification in sports. Earlier this year, Smith mobilized supporters to participate in an email campaign that resulted in a total of over 12,000 complaints being submitted to authorities at Football New South Wales (FNSW). The complaints were largely related to Dennis, who is alleged to have injured female players at a match in March.

Speaking with Reduxx, Smith explained that she believed the AVO was carried out in response to social media posts she had made specifically highlighting Dennis’ participation in women’s competitions.

Included among the stipulations of the AVO lodged against Smith by Dennis are prohibitions against electronic harassment. As a result, her statements on social media have come under legal scrutiny and, in some cases, have been censored by an arm of the Australian government dedicated to combatting “cyber abuse.”

On February 20, Smith’s public Facebook page was removed at the request of Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant. Smith had set up the page in 2016 and used the platform to advocate for the rights of women and girls being harmed by gender identity policies. At the time of its deletion, Smith’s page had over 47,000 followers.

Smith expressed her shock and incredulity at the situation. If the court decides that the AVO is justified and that she has taken actions which breach the order, Smith could potentially have criminal charges leveled against her. However, she emphasized that she has received an outpouring of support.

“One good thing to come out of these difficulties is the way it draws women together. It isn’t about left or right, ethnicity or anything else. We are women and I now get to call some friends that I otherwise wouldn’t. Beauty from ashes,” Smith says.

The actions taken against Smith by eSafety Commissioner Grant are not the first instances of a government-endorsed push to digitally protect Dennis.

Last week, Reduxx was contacted by the eSafety Commissioner and advised to censor or delete an article naming Dennis as having been the subject of complaint after he was alleged to have injured female players during a match in March.

In the article targeted by the eSafety Commissioner, Reduxx had revealed that Dennis was one of as many as five trans-identified male players currently competing against women in Football New South Wales competitions. An initial report from The Daily Mail Australia had chosen not to identify him when reporting on the injuries he was alleged to have caused, censoring images of him and declining to provide his name. However, Reduxx confirmed the player’s identity using the censored images from The Daily Mail Australia report and cross-referencing them to Dennis’ social media.

Dennis was a popular trans activist YouTuber who amassed 113,000 subscribers on the platform. He has since stopped creating content but, during the height of his internet career, he received backlash for a controversial video in which he called “genital preferences” transphobic.

The video, titled Your Dating ‘Preferences’ Might Be Discriminatory and released in 2017, prompted outrage from lesbians who felt Dennis was attempting to guilt them into having sexual relationships with males.

In the video, Dennis, who identifies as a “transgender lesbian,” implied that sexual orientation is caused by societal prejudices and that it is discriminatory to exclude members of the opposite sex from your dating preferences if you are homosexual. Dennis deleted the video following widespread criticism.

In addition to Smith and Reduxx, pro-woman Reddit alternative Ovarit also received a censorship notice from the eSafety Commissioner.

Ovarit posted the full contents of the email they had received to their platform. Amongst the grievances the eSafety Commissioner listed, Ovarit was warned because its users had “referred to Riley Dennis’ first name as ‘Rapey’ instead of “Riley” and have referred to her surname as ‘Penis’ instead of ‘Dennis.'”

The eSafety Commissioner targeted individual Ovarit users in its email to the platform, and appears to be demanding the users either have their comments deleted or be suspended. The email ends: “Notwithstanding this request for removal, eSafety reserves the option of exercising our regulatory options under the Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth).”

In addition to the censorship experienced by Smith, Reduxx, and Ovarit, concerned citizens and parents who have been participating in online discussions of Football New South Wales’ (FNSW) gender self-identification policy have been sent threatening “notices” urging them to remove social media posts.

A community that opposes the admission of males into female sports categories has congregated at the Facebook-based NSW NPL Banter Page.

A representative for the page spoke anonymously with Reduxx to confirm that there had been multiple reports from concerned individuals that the sporting authority had been warning critics that they may be “sanctioned” for their comments and posts on social media.

The NSW NPL Banter administrator was also sent an email notification of an “investigation” that FNSW claims to have opened into posts and comments made on the page. It stated that, according to 2023 FNSW’s Social Media Policy, a member of the organization “must not make public or media comment (including via social media) which is detrimental to Football New South Wales, Football Australia, their commercial partners or to the interests of the game.”

The message specified two posts which depicted “a participant with a phallus photoshopped onto their body” alongside the word “unacceptable” as evidence to support the investigation. It was further stated that comments considered subject to removal include those which “criticize” Football NSW, members or participants, or its policies.

The page’s creator also told Reduxx that, despite several attempts to share the article naming Dennis as a man playing on a women’s team, such posts were repeatedly deleted.

“We had put the article up on our Facebook page and it was deleted three times – after we had successfully challenged its removal two times previously,” the administrator said.

A copy of the notice provided to Reduxx.

In the past few months, the page has published several posts critical of FNSW’s policy allowing men to compete against women. Though some have remained, many have been removed.

“Biological adult males and it’s not just one, it is several, are playing in NSW women’s state league competitions, which contain teenage girls and young women. Shame on those clubs, who have discarded any morals they might have had, just to sign these things, so as to be able to win, where’s the dignity? You put winning above respect for the competition,” the NSW NPL Banter Page wrote in a now-deleted post last month.

Responses to posts made on the page are overwhelmingly sympathetic to women and girls being forced to compete against men.

“I feel sorry for our young women who are at increased risk of injury and losing opportunities,” read one comment.

Referring specifically to Dennis, another concerned respondent said: “He put two girls in hospital and has scored 9 goals. What a joke.”

“The women who play this sport deserve better than playing with full grown adult men who have transitioned into women… This is cheating at the highest level and it angers me to my core,” said another commenter.

The issue of locker rooms was also brought up, as one woman replied, “What happens to a minor age female who is in the change room with a biologically born male in a senior team? Who is responsible for the duty of care toward those girls both on and off the field?”

On March 31, in response to demands from parents to ban trans-identified males from women’s matches for FNSW, Football Australia doubled down by announcing it would be developing a “transgender and gender-diverse high performance inclusion policy.”

The policy states that Football Australia intends to “deliver LGBTQI+ training and support resources to the football community” by way of a partnership with activist group Pride in Sport. “The aim of this training will be to provide the Australian Football community with a greater understanding of the lived experience of LGBTQI+ communities and their participation in sport,” the statement read.

On April 6, an individual who identifies himself as a referee stated in a forum dedicated to discussing Youth Football matches in the region that members of Football NSW were sent an email announcing an LGBTQ+ Online Training Session to be held the following week.

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Genevieve Gluck

Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.

Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.